Closing Time

Hello to the three people that may actually check this blog still. I haven’t done here much lately. I’ve been focusing on other sites on the web –

I just wanted to tell you that Cook & Tell’s time has come to an end, but I have a new blog. This new blog is to help people use the products I sell and provide great tasting recipes. Check it out here –

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Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

This is a traditional Thai soup and I’m sure my recipe is a very Americanized version. None-the-less, it is delicious. I added rice noodles to the soup to make it more substantial, meal-sized soup.


Thai Coconut Chicken Soup


  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried, hand torn
  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.

Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, mushrooms, lime juice, and chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into a soup tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves.


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Barley Risotto

This is a great side dish, fairly easy to make, healthier than regular risotto but so good! Maybe even better than regular risotto.

This recipe is a base recipe and you can add in different veggies to change it up, or it is great just as it is.


Barley Risotto



  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I usually use almost double that)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped


  1. Combine chicken broth and wine and heat until simmering.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot, sauté barley until slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and garlic, cook until transparent.
  4. Add the stock and wine half a cup at a time, stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  5. Barley should be al dente.
  6. Turn heat off, and stir in the parmesan.
  7. Place lid on the pot and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  8. Season with salt, pepper and parsley.



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Shallot Chicken with Lemon Parmesan Israeli Couscous

This meal is good! Super good. I’ve made it at least five times since the initial meal. I found the Israeli Couscous recipe on a blog called Espresso and Cream. Best thing about her blog is she has a dog named Nutmeg, the same name of our family dog we had growing up.


Chicken with Shallots

4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
½ cup dry white wine
¹/³ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
¼ cup minced shallots (1 large)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and sprinkle them generously on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, until it begins to smoke. Place the chicken breasts, skin side down, in the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving, until golden brown.
Using tongs, turn the chicken breasts skin side up, place the skillet in the oven, and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, combine the white wine, lemon juice, and shallots and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until only 2 tablespoons of liquid remain in the pan. If it reduces too much, add an extra splash of white wine or water. Add the cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a full boil. Remove from the heat, add the diced butter, and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated. Don’t reheat or the sauce will “break”! Sprinkle with salt and serve the chicken hot with the sauce spooned over it.
Yield: 4 servings Recipe Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa


Lemon Parmesan Israeli Couscous

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 clove garlic, chopped
*1/2 tsp. paprika
*1 1/3 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
*2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 a lemon 
*Additional olive oil

*Bring the broth to boiling in a small sauce pan.
*Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic, paprika and the couscous. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until cous cous is slightly browned and the garlic is fragrant.
*Add in the boiling broth to the couscous mixture. Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until couscous and chewy and tender and almost all the broth is absorbed.
*Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.
Recipe courtesy of Espresso and Cream

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Winter’s Coming!

Look at that nice sweater!

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Dinner Spanakopitas

You know you haven’t blogged in too long when the blog URL isn’t saved in your internet history.

Here is a little didy that Vanessa and I made a little while ago. The spanakopitas  are meant to be large and dinner sized but we made then half the size for appies.

They were really good and they are great to have in the freezer and thrown in the over at the last minute.

Next time I would add a little bit of citrus to the spinach mix. Lots of feta is the key in this recipe!!


  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups small-diced feta cheese (12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 24 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan, add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the scallions, and cook for another 2 minutes until the scallions are wilted but still green. Meanwhile, gently squeeze most of the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.


When the onion and scallions are done, add them to the spinach. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the feta and pine nuts.


Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough flat on a work surface with the long end in front of you. Brush the dough lightly with butter and sprinkle it with a teaspoon of bread crumbs. Working quickly, slide another sheet of phyllo dough on top of the first, brush it with butter, and sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs. (Use just enough bread crumbs so the layers of phyllo don’t stick together.) Pile 4 layers total on top of each other this way, brushing each with butter and sprinkling with bread crumbs. Cut the sheets of phyllo in half lengthwise. Place 1/3 cup spinach filling on the shorter end and roll the phyllo up diagonally as if folding a flag. Then fold the triangle of phyllo over straight and then diagonally again. Continue folding first diagonally and then straight until you reach the end of the sheet. The filling should be totally enclosed. Continue assembling phyllo layers and folding the filling until all of the filling is used. Place on a sheet pan, seam sides down. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with flaked salt, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the phyllo is browned and crisp. Serve hot.

Posted in Mains, Recipes, Sides | 1 Comment

Giada’s Farro Salad

This salad is easy, hearty and delicious. I love it because it is versatile and you can make it into a different salad everytime you make it.

Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs


  • 4 cups water
  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion (recommended: Walla Walla) chopped
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Combine the water and farro in a medium saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Add the tomatoes, onion, chives, and parsley to the farro, and toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat.

The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Shrimp, Mango and Cucumber Salad

This recipe comes to us from White Water Cooks at Home. This book is so good and has hit after hit. This salad did not disappoint. It was voted number one appy at ladies night the other day. Scott loved it as well!
This recipe is very versatile. I cut up the shrimp and served it on fresh bread, and with pita chips. You could leave the shrimp whole and serve it as an actual salad, in a wrap or as a sandwich. Delish!

Shrimp, Mango, & Cucumber Salad

1 lb shrimp, peeled, and cooked
1 ripe mango, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup long English cucumber, diced
½ medium red onion diced
1 cup cilantro
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/3 cup lime juice, about 2 limes
1 tsp lime zest
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
S&P to taste

Remove any excess moisture from the shrimp.
Place shrimp in a bowl, add in all other ingredients and mix gently.
Taste and season with salt & pepper.

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Balsamic Bruschetta

I found this recipe on Pip & Ebby’s blog, I love all the great recipes they have. It was so easy to make and very delicious, a great recipe for using those summer tomatoes! 


In a small bowl, add:

  • 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Stir ingredients together and let it chill out in the fridge for a while.

Cut a loaf of French bread into 1/2-inch slices. Place bread slices onto a baking sheet.

At this point you have two serving options. You can:

1. Toast the French bread with tomato mixture spread on top in a 425-degree oven for 4-5 minutes for a warm appetizer.

2. Toast the bread by itself in a 425-degree oven for 3-4 minutes and then add the chilled tomato mixture to the top.

Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve! Delish!

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Ladies Night

Ladies night is pretty much now Ladies and Bitches Night. It all Started at Jillian’s with Sally the other weekend and is now becoming a standard of entertaining.

The Ladies

My friend Adelle has a new puppy named Roxy, so we got the pups together while we ate and had some wine.

The Pups

On the menu:

Balsamic Bruschetta from Pip & Ebby
Shrimp Mango and Cucumber Salad
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Toasts
Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Champagne & Wine make for a good day!

Recipes will be following for some of the items.


Rio Trying to be one of the ladies.


It was a nice night and a good way to get Rio and Roxy more socialized. I believe we’ll be doing this again very soon.

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Posted in Restaurants and Events, Turbo, Wine | 4 Comments